Thursday, September 10, 2009

Do you believe in moisturiser?

Ever since I read about Dr. Zein Obagi's claim that moisturisers can age you...I've been cautious about using too much moisturiser. As he states in the link above: "Moisturizers, when used daily as part of a skin care program, will accelerate aging and wrinkling of the skin, as they reduce cellular activity, causing the cells to become lazy and sensitive."

In the second part of his interview he elaborates: "It seems antithetical — a moisturizer was probably the first product that you used on your skin . . . With young and healthy skin, the cells in the dermis collect water from the food we eat and water we drink, and deliver that water to the surface of the skin. But, when you apply a moisturizer to hydrate and plump the skin, the skin cells in the epidermis send a message to the cells in the dermis: slow down, we’re fat and happy up here. That causes the cells in the dermis to become lazy, go dormant, and the skin becomes drier, thinner, and less elastic."

However, he clarifies that cremes that "work at the cellular level" and have properties other than pure moisturisation can be used. These include his skin care products (surprise, surprise) which contain retinols, herbal extracts and anti-irritants.

On the one hand - using moisturiser is instinctive...it seems like the first step for keeping wrinkles at bay. Yet Dr. Obagi is a highly respected skin expert - and the skin care systems he created are a favourite of dermatologists and beauty experts. His claims cannot be completely discounted - as he has quite an impressive reputation and strong credentials in his field.

Personally, I'm not sure what to believe...can cells really "become lazy"? Empirically, I've seen that my elderly relatives with the "plumpest" skin, use copious amounts of moisturiser. Furthermore, so many celebs swear by rich moisturisers - such as Creme de la Mer and La Prarie. Yet I keep thinking - if Dr. Obagi's claims were so preposterous, why are "beauty experts" (and I am a novice in this field) buying what he's saying?

Until there is a consensus on the "right" way - I've been keeping my moisturiser use to a minimum. Instead of slathering my face in moisturiser twice a day, I only use a morning moisturiser if I'm going out and need SPF (My face wash is oil-based, so my skin is never dry), while at night, I apply my serum of essential oils.

All quotations are from bellasugar.com


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